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The Art of Goal Setting: Make 2024 the Best Year Yet!

The start of a new year is an ideal time for reflection, and assessing what you were able to accomplish over the past year. Did you stick to your 2023 goals? Were there other components of your journey that you wish you had included? Reflection is an excellent way to determine your next steps in life, especially when it comes to health and fitness.

Despite the optimistic outlook of New Year's, did you know that about 99% of resolutions fail? In this post, we'll discuss why this happens and how to create a realistic and practical plan to make 2024 your healthiest year yet.

First, let's address why New Year's resolutions often fail. One reason is that people often set unrealistic goals for themselves. They may try to change too many things at once or aim for outcomes that are simply unattainable. For example, someone who doesn't work out at all may expect to follow a five-day workout routine on January 1st. This can be overwhelming, and they may quickly realize that it's not realistic in the long run.

Second, people may not have a clear plan for how to achieve their resolutions. For instance, they set a goal to lose 50 pounds, but they don't have a step-by-step plan to get there. This post will help you create the right mindset and approach to determine your resolutions, leading to long-lasting improvements in your life and achievement, and perhaps even exceeding your goals.

When it comes to long-term goals, there are key steps to put you on the path to success to create both achievable and sustainable goals. Remember, you are on this fitness journey for the long run so if the behaviors you adopt don't seem like something you can do 3 months, 6 months, or even a year from now, it's time to make a change.

STEP 1: Identify Your Goals

Before we can create a cohesive plan to help you achieve your objectives, we need to identify them. These goals may be ones that you were unable to achieve in the past, or they could be new aspirations that you're eager to pursue. Whatever your goals may be, they will set the stage for the rest of the process. To establish a goal, I recommend using the SMART method. SMART Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

  • Specific goals should answer the questions of who, what, when, where, and why.

  • Measurable goals can be tracked and evaluated using metrics.

  • Attainable goals are realistic and consider resources.

  • Relevant goals align with overall aspirations and values.

  • Time-bound goals have a deadline for completion.

With these criteria in mind, effective SMART Goals can be created. For instance, a few fitness goals might include:

  • Increasing the weight on your squat by 20 lbs in the next 6 months.

  • Reducing body fat percentage by 5% over the next 9 months. Whatever your goals may be, the SMART method will help you establish objectives that are both challenging and achievable

STEP 2: Breakdown the Goal

Ambitious targets can be daunting. That's why I suggest breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. For instance, let's say your objective is to lose 50 pounds over the next year. To achieve this, it's best to break it down into smaller goals and steps. Start by aiming to lose about 12.5 pounds every three months. When you break it down further, the goal becomes losing approximately 1-1.5 pounds per week. This approach is much more feasible and appears more attainable. Achieving smaller goals will make you feel empowered and motivated, allowing you to stay focused on the big picture. Avoid setting unrealistic or overly aggressive goals, as this can result in frustration and burnout. Give yourself ample time to make progress, and acknowledge your successes along the way.

STEP 3: Realistic Goals

It's important to set realistic goals that can be achieved within a year. For example, if you've lifted a maximum of 210 lbs in the past, setting a goal of 350 lbs in the next year may not be the most effective. It's also common for women to set weight goals that they've never reached before or haven't achieved since their teenage years. It's essential to understand that maintaining the same weight at 30 as you did at 17 is neither realistic nor healthy. A better goal would be to aim for a weight you achieved at some point in your adult life. Alternatively, focus on building muscle and losing fat, rather than setting weight goals. Remember, weight is not an accurate indicator of your body composition. So, concentrate on getting stronger, building muscle, and losing fat, and you'll thank yourself later.

STEP 4: Be Forgiving

If you're determined to make this year your best one yet, then remember this. Goal setting is a process of trial and error, and it's okay to make mistakes. If you find that a certain goal is too challenging, don't give up. Instead, reassess your approach and make modifications as necessary. For instance, if you planned to work out five days a week but can only manage three, adjust your goal to what is realistic for you. Once you master one step, you can build on it and achieve more.

Remember, setting realistic fitness goals is key to staying motivated and focused on your health journey. With the right mindset, planning, and commitment, you can achieve your goals and create a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life. Keep in mind that there will be bumps along the way, but don't let them get you down. Embrace the journey and stay determined to succeed in the long run.

If you're looking for some guidance on how to start your fitness journey in 2024 check out my Annual Strength Challenge! This challenge includes 8 weeks of training, a customized nutrition plan, tips on goal setting, and more! REGISTER HERE.

That’s all for today. Have a happy and safe new year! Talk to you in 2024



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